Animal experts warn against alienating dogs further

September 10, 2022 08:28 pm | Updated 08:28 pm IST - PALAKKAD

Animal experts have warned against alienating dogs further in the context of the current situation in the State, where number dog-bites were reported.

Animal experts say that socialising the dogs is the best way, as dogs are basically dependent animals in nature.

The panic situation in the State triggered by recent incidents of dog bites has led to unsocialising of the stray dogs, at least for the time being. With the people treating stray dogs more and more suspiciously, the dogs too are likely to turn suspicious.

“This behavioural change is not good. It should be arrested. Studies and experience have taught us that socialising the dogs is the best way out,” said M.K. Narayanan, Dean of the College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Pookode.

Several animal experts, including Dr. Narayanan, suggested that socialising the dogs in such a way as not to permit their uncontrolled breeding would go a long way in rabies control as well as checking of dog menace.

“Eradication or mass killing is not a solution. Many groups have tried it, but failed. Early neutering of pups can do wonders in controlling the population,” said Dr. Narayanan, buttressing his claims with his doctoral research.

A dog, if left to breed, can give birth at least for six years at a rate of minimum once a year. If half of the pups survive, a dog causes multiplication of its population by three or four times a year. “Leaving the stray dog population unchecked is not advisable either,” said Dr. Narayanan.

According to N. Sudhodhanan, Oisca International State secretary and former deputy director of the State Animal Husbandry Department, increased exposure of dogs to raw and bloody meat eating has brought about a drastic change in their behavior.

“Dogs are basically wild animals. They have been domesticated by giving cooked meat and starch food, which made them less aggressive. A return to raw meat eating habit has made them go back to their wild aggressive nature, including attacking in packs,” said Dr. Sudhodhanan.

He said that careless dumping of slaughter and poultry waste was partly responsible for this behavioural change in dogs. “We find increased aggressiveness, and an increase in production of testosterone levels in them. Similarly, androgen production has also increased in them. With this, their wild hunting nature returns,” said Dr. Sudhodhanan.

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